Topic outline

This series of four courses is designed to improve understanding of Codex Alimentarius and develop sustainable national capacities to engage in and benefit from Codex work. This first course explains why Codex exists and why it is important. It provides a brief history of the establishment of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and introduces its mandate and legal basis, as well as the initial steps for becoming involved.


People who need an overview of Codex, with the following profiles will benefit from taking this course:

  • Codex Contact Points
  • Government officials
  • Policy-makers
  • Food producers
  • Consumer representatives
  • Codex observer organizations
  • Members of the scientific community

  • The global importance and purpose of Codex
  • What Codex develops and how it can be used
  • The benefits of being involved in Codex and using Codex standards
  • How Codex is organized and how it operates
  • Core functions of Codex Contact Points and criteria for their designation
  • Technical support offered by FAO and WHO to facilitate Members’ engagement

The course consists of 2 lessons of approximately 60 minutes duration each:

  • Lesson 1 – Why is Codex important?
  • Lesson 2 – What is Codex?

This course runs on the latest versions of the major browsers, such as Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari.

The course opens in a separate popup window. If this does not happen, a popup blocker in the browser is probably preventing it from opening and you will need to disable popup blockers for this site. Please read the following instructions on how to do this.

Digital certification

This course offers certification. You will get your digital badge upon passing a final exam after completing the course and achieving a grade of at least 75%. Please click on the button below to complete the exam, or refer to our Certification section to learn more.

Evaluate this course

We would be pleased to receive your evaluation of this course, to support us in improving future e-learning courses. Please click on the button below to answer the questions in the form. It should only take you a few minutes!